Health Talk Today

Health Issues

Varicose Veins

ReThink Varicose VeinsMany people consider varicose veins to be simply a cosmetic issue, so they delay treatment or avoid it completely. The truth is, untreated varicose veins can progress to a more serious form of vein (venous) disease called chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), which can present more serious signs and symptoms such as pain, ankle swelling, fatigue of the legs, skin damage and ulcers.

That’s why a coalition of medical societies is coming together for the ReThink Varicose Veins campaign to encourage the more than 30 million Americans with venous disease, including varicose veins and CVI, to learn more and see a vein specialist for diagnosis and treatment. Fortunately, several minimally-invasive treatment options are available that are covered by many insurance plans.

On, you can learn more, take a self-assessment, find a vein specialist and spread the word to friends and loved ones.

What You Can Do:

1) Take a self-assessment: Use the quick self-assessment tool

2) Find a vein specialist: If your assessment shows you might be at risk for varicose veins or CVI, find a specialist at ReThink Varicose Veins to discuss diagnosis and treatment.

3) Understand treatment options: There are minimally invasive treatment options covered by many insurance plans that allow for a short, comfortable recovery; learn more at ReThink Varicose Veins

4) Spread the word: Even if you don’t suffer from varicose veins, your friends and loved ones may not know their risks; share the message on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites.

ReThink Varicose Veins eFlyer

Right click to Download the flyer.

And be sure to leave a comment with your varicose vein story.

Marilyn Kvasnok

The Important Role of Nutrition in Cancer Treatment

Guest post by Jillian McKee, Complementary Medicine Advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.

Fruit and Vegetables

Good nutrition is instrumental in a cancer patient’s life because it makes a big difference in how the body responds to treatment. Sometimes treatments are very hard on the body. Eating a good diet will help the body replace damaged cells and will help in healing after surgery. If cancer patients continue to eat a good, nutritious diet during their illnesses, they will keep their strength intact. All of these issues are a concern when people are just being diagnosed, currently undergoing treatment, or recovering from cancer.

Weight is a highly important topic to doctors. As people lose weight after being diagnosed, they lower survival chances more quickly than those who can keep their weight at a healthy level. Similarly, when losing weight during their illnesses, enthusiasm and quality of life declines. By keeping their weight at a healthy level, energy levels are maintained. They can better maintain their normal lives and do not feel as hopeless as those who are feeling weak.

As people eat a nutritious diet, they can reduce the symptoms that they experience from their cancer treatments. If cancer patients are becoming malnourished, they often notice side effects that are more severe. These can be decreased by maintaining a healthy body weight. Side effects include:

• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Constipation
• Diarrhea
• Fatigue
• Anemia
• Anorexia

Problems with getting enough nutrition present themselves when it’s hard to eat a sufficient amount of food. Those who are currently receiving mesothelioma cancer treatments, for example, may need to have a feeding tube. This way, they will receive a healthy mixture of water, proteins, fats, vitamins, and carbohydrates. It can lead to these patients feeling much better than they did previously.

The medical staff will begin to take nutrition into consideration right after a patient has been diagnosed with cancer. They will want to identify any potential problems that could present themselves throughout the patients’ treatment. Then they can develop a plan to make sure malnutrition does not become an issue.

Jillian McKeeJillian McKee has worked as the Complementary Medicine Advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance since June of 2009. Jillian spends most her time on outreach efforts and spreading information about the integration of complementary and alternative medicine when used in conjunction with traditional cancer treatment.

Leave a comment for Jill with your best nutrition ideas.

Myths About the Aging Brain Revealed

Myths About the Aging Brain Revealed(ARA) – Who says you can’t teach a mind new tricks at any age? Recent research shows that Americans have the power to positively influence their brain function throughout life – an important realization that is especially relevant for the more than 78 million baby boomers in the United States. Brain health is one of the top health-related concerns of aging populations and has been identified by the Centers for Disease Control as a public health priority.

“The fear of memory loss and losing brain capacity looms large among the minds of boomers,” says Dr. Majid Fotuhi, a leading neurologist and author of “The Memory Cure.” “But we can maintain and even improve our brain health as we age. In fact, our brains have the ability to grow and change throughout life.”

Dr. Fotuhi debunks four common myths surrounding the brain and aging.

1. The brain stops growing after childhood.

A decade ago, many experts would have scoffed at the idea that the brains of adults, particularly older adults, could grow or develop in any significant way. But that has changed. Research increasingly suggests that each time a new skill is learned, such as playing an instrument, speaking a foreign language or even dancing, new pathways are formed and areas of the brain may grow, even well into the later years. Physical and mental exercise can alter specific brain regions, improving in cognitive function. Brain growth isn’t just for kids.

2. Once I start experiencing memory loss, it’s all downhill and there’s not much I can do.

Actually, there are a number of things you can do to improve your memory throughout life, even if you are already noticing changes. Exercise, challenging mental activities, social engagement and diet adjustments have all been shown to have positive effects on cognition and memory. In fact, a new study published online in May in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, showed that healthy people with memory complaints who took algal DHA capsules for six months had almost double the reduction in errors on a test that measures learning and memory performance versus those who took a placebo, a benefit roughly equivalent to having the learning and memory skills of someone three years younger. DHA (or docosahexaenoic acid) is an omega-3 fatty acid and a building block for the brain. Algal DHA products comparable to those used in this study can be found at major retailers like Walmart, CVS and Walgreens under the Algal-900 product name – look for the life’sDHA seal on these supplements to ensure you are getting an algal DHA source. For more information on foods, beverages and supplements that contain algal DHA, visit
Myths About the Aging Brain Revealed

3. Memory problems must mean Alzheimer’s disease.

Many people, young or old, worry that mild forgetfulness must be a sign of Alzheimer’s disease. But most people are worrying needlessly – research shows that more than 80 percent of people will never get Alzheimer’s disease. Some experts now believe that it is time to redefine everyone’s understanding of age-related memory loss and dementia. Emerging research indicates that many people experiencing memory loss and dementia actually have mixed pathologies in their brains. In fact, very few senior citizens have “pure Alzheimer’s disease.” Instead, late-life cognitive impairment may in fact be a result of multiple “hits” to the brain, from a variety of risk factors such as hypertension, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, chronic stress, head trauma and poor diet. The good news? There is the opportunity to influence brain health and function by incorporating lifestyle factors like exercise, a healthy diet, stress reduction and intellectual and social engagement. Regardless of family history, the choices a person makes in life may be able to slow the progression of age-related cognitive decline or help prevent it altogether.

4. Brightest equals youngest.

Today’s society does place an emphasis on age but, keep in mind, people over 65 rule the country. The majority of legislators, CEOs, doctors, lawyers, judges, economists and CEOs are not in their 30s or 40s, but seasoned veterans who bestow several decades of experience and expertise. Along with gray hairs come both knowledge and wisdom and you do not have to look far to find inspiring stories of accomplishment, creativity and reinvention in the second half of life. To see some inspiring profiles of aging and learn more about the actions you can take to ensure that you build and maintain a mind that is healthy and beautiful for an entire lifetime, go to

SoleMates Socks – A Testimonial

GardeningI love gardening!  But as I got older and my feet got drier, all the cracks in my heels were embedded with dirt.  I would scrub and scrape and put on lotion and it would look good temporarily, but it always went back to dry skin and cracks.  After a while, the cracks were becoming so deep they actually hurt.  As I researched this, I found I wasn’t alone.

Diabetics, folks with weight problems, and the elderly, all have major health concerns related to cracks on the sole and heel becoming infected.  I read in a 2010 podiatric journal that podiatrists are so stymied as to successfully treating this problem, they actually glue the cracks together.  They also recommend wearing plastic bags on your feet to conserve moisture.  I tried it once.  It actually works, but it felt like my feet were in two miniature saunas.  I believed there just had to be a better way!

I was in a nursery looking at gloves when I had the “AHA!” moment.  If garden gloves kept the drying effect of dirt off my hands, then a glove for my foot would do the same thing.  I used the already proven track record of nitrile coated garden gloves and morphed it into a sock.  After a lot of medical advice and testing, it became a sock that created a moisture conserving chamber for the foot, keeping the foot soft, moist and crack free.  It also kept dirt outside the sock.

After testing the prototype, my heel cracks disappeared, and have never returned.  That was 5 years ago.  These socks are not magic.  If I don’t routinely wear them a couple of days a week, my skin begins to dry out naturally.  But if I do wear them, my heels are baby soft all the time with no effort other than wearing a comfortable sock.

SoleMates Socks

Bernadette Butz

About Bernadette Butz

I never intended to become an entrepreneur at 67, but I am determined to bring this product to people who have the same problems I did, necessity being the mother of SoleMates.

Connect with Bernadette on Facebook and Twitter.

Are You Still Smoking?

There are SO many reasons to quit smoking … And NO good reasons to continue. I ran across this video on Doctor Oz’s website that illustrates what happens in your lungs when you breathe in cigarette smoke . . .

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Animation

My friend, Joe Weaver, author of the book “The Tao of Quitting Smoking,” listed 100 Reasons to Quit Smoking.  My top 10 from his list are here.  You’ll also find links to his site and other quit smoking resources there and here.

It’s that time of year when we’re all thinking of New Year’s Resolutions.  Some smoker’s just can’t see through their smoke.  But, if you want to take a giant leap of health, stop smoking today.  ARE YOU READY?

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